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Zoo Installs Electronic Polar Bears to Replace Real Animals

polar bear

First we looked at an architect that wants to build a massive artificial mountain in the middle of Berlin. Now comes word that the St. Louis Zoo has decided to replace its polar bears with electronic replacements. Um, what?

The zoo’s last polar bear was euthanized after zookeepers discovered that she had cancer. The polar bear before her died after wolfing down too much plastic and cloth, and the one before her died from an infection. So instead of shelling out cash to buy another pricey, endangered polar bear, the zoo has installed a family of electronic polar bears in its empty display, courtesy of local holiday decoration company James Trogolo Co.

The ailing economy has affected zoos all over the country–the Bronx Zoo is losing its state funding and the Los Angeles Zoo has halted work on its $42 million elephant exhibit–and Obama’s stimulus package has no provision for zoos. But are electronic polar bears the answer, even as a temporary fix?

Instead, zoos might want to consider cutting costs with solutions like Valcent’s vertical farming system. The VertiCrop System, recently installed in England’s Paignton Zoo, is expected to cut animal feed costs by $150,000 annually.

[Via Riverfront Times]AS